Chester Osborn, the remarkable person behind this enormous array of both impeccably high quality and value-priced wines, deserves considerable accolades for what he is able to achieve at all price ranges.
If you love Australian wines, d’Arenberg is a winery to seek out as these offerings all possess abundant soul as well as character. In short, the accolades that proprietor/winemaker Chester Osborn receives not only from The Wine Advocate, but virtually everybody in the wine world, are all well deserved.
Spice crusted barbecued butterflied leg of lamb, linguine pasta with mushrooms and caramelised onions.
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The nose shows intense blackcurrant and cranberry fruit, and the subtle cedary cinnamon spice, barrel-ferment and oak derived aromas, violet and mint scents, as well as liquorice and chocolate smells. Interwined is this wounderful green edge that lifts the wine into a cool climate sepctrum which typifies the cold year. These aromas combine with some cassis, blueberry, and cranberry, with lingering mocha and plumy fruit and are just showing through amongst a long, intense vibrant, gritty fruit tannin finish.
A special McLaren Vale Shiraz-Cabernet Sauvignon blend from the excellent 2002 vintage. Originally made for a private client from Fox Creek's own grapes, it was for sale to private customers and not available for normal retail sale. The blend in this wine is 60% Shiraz and 40% Cabernet Sauvignon. The Shiraz was fermented on skins for 8 days and about 10% of the wine saw barrel fermentation during the later stages of the fermentation. The Cabernet Sauvignon components were fermented to dryness, before being transferred to oak. Maturation was in approximately 20% French and 80% American oak, with about 30% of this being new oak.
Kay's are specialist traditional red wine makers utilising grapes from their own 22-hectare Amery Vineyard.
A rich, round, soft, voluptuous, fruit driven Shiraz with a hint of confectionery sweetness in the background. A very approachable full bodied combination of blueberries, plum, Ribena, mocha chocolate, spice box, vanilla and pepper fill the palate with pleasurable flavours and the balanced soft tannin finish has both length and persistence.
Upon release, ‘The Dead Arm’ Shiraz has a vivid, young, dense, purple-red colour. Very intense aromas with a complex combination of fragrant spices and violets, dark cherry, blackberry and blueberry, are made more complex with great liquorice, pepper and integrated svelte of boot-polish like characters. The taste is rich, gutsy and virile, with attacking spice, dark liquorice, cherry, blackberry, plum and dried black olive. The level of fruit weight masks the framework of oak tannins; however, the mineral fruit grittiness is balanced with a very long fruit-fragrant, persistent spice will yield a wine of great ageing power.
A perfume of grilled steak intermixed with blackberries, new saddle leather, earth, pepper, and melted licorice rises from this awesome red. With great power, richness, and no hard edges, it is still young and primary, but should hit its peak in 3-7 years, and last for two decades or more.
The 2002 season was characterised by a cold, wet winter and spring, which produced lower yields with good, thick-skinned berries. The cool and dry summer ripened fruit gradually and a warm, dry autumn allowed the grapes to ripen fully, producing some of the best and most exotic characters seen for many years.
The 2003 season was characterised by a very low winter rainfall which signalled the vine to minimize potential crop load. The ripening period was warm producing a crop load of small berries and very pure, ripe fruit characters. Even with a smaller than normal crop load many batches showed wonderful fruit characters due to an excellent skin to pulp ratios and this is evident in the final wine. This year in particular selected parcels of fruit deemed worthy of the Dead Arm label were down 50% in volume.
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